Fears that efforts to reduce air pollution might dramatically pace up the method of global warming have allayed with the publication of a landmark new research.
Scientists have long apprehensive that air pollution while having a devastating impact on human health, could paradoxically have acted as a ‘brake’ on the heating of the atmosphere. Air pollution particles help clouds to kind with more water droplets, which means they reflect more of the sun’s energy back into space.
Until now, the extent to which air pollution inadvertently helps to cool the planet has not been clear. If the cooling is strong, it will imply that efforts to clean up the air may really speed up global warming, making efforts to deal with climate change much more difficult.
Nonetheless, new research carried out on the University of Reading has proven pollution impacts different clouds in numerous methods. While some clouds get thicker, others turn into thinner, which means air pollution is unlikely to offset more than half of greenhouse gas warming.
The findings, printed in Nature, offer larger hope that present plans to curb global warming by moving to cleaner sources of energy should work without resulting in an unexpected extra source of heating.
Velle Toll, the lead author of the research, now at the University of Tartu in Estonia, mentioned: “Until now, it was thought that thicker clouds form when water droplets condense around the particles in polluted air, delaying rainfall, and permitting clouds to reflect more sunlight back into space.